Family Tree Friday: Fighting both sides in the Civil War

Since we've been highlighting special fighting units that served in various wars, I thought I would mention a group I'm sure many people have probably heard about (even if you're not exactly sure who they are): the Galvanized Yankees.  These men were former Confederate prisoners of war who opted to enlist in the Union Army to … Continue reading Family Tree Friday: Fighting both sides in the Civil War

Family Tree Friday: Artificers in the Revolutionary War

Continuing on the theme of (unusually-named) specialty units that served in the U.S. military, this time we look at the artificers who supported the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.  Simply put, artificers were skilled artisans and mechanics who kept military equipment in good working order so the troops could operate effectively.  They typically served … Continue reading Family Tree Friday: Artificers in the Revolutionary War

Family Tree Friday: Building Your Family Tree with Military and Civilian Personnel Records

This week's Family Tree Friday post comes from guest blogger Theresa Fitzgerald from the National Archives at St. Louis.  Theresa shows us the wealth of genealogical information available within the National Personnel Records Center! There’s often one question when beginning one’s family tree: Where do I begin? Many start with their own family collection of … Continue reading Family Tree Friday: Building Your Family Tree with Military and Civilian Personnel Records

Family Tree Friday: U.S. Voltigeurs in the Mexican War

In my last post, I talked about the Sea Fencibles, a unique fighting unit from the War of 1812.  I thought it would be interesting to continue that trend, moving on this time to introduce the Regiment of U.S. Voltigeurs and Foot Riflemen from the Mexican War.  Voltigeurs, you may ask?!?  What in the world … Continue reading Family Tree Friday: U.S. Voltigeurs in the Mexican War

NARA Coast to Coast: "Pay Day" for Some World War I Military Personnel Records

Today, guest blogger Theresa Fitzgerald from the National Archives at St. Louis has written a special NARA Coast-to-Coast post sharing some recent discoveries in World War I era military records. On July 12, 1973 a fire engulfed the sixth floor of the Military Personnel Records Center. This event destroyed 80% of all Army personnel records with discharge dates between November … Continue reading NARA Coast to Coast: "Pay Day" for Some World War I Military Personnel Records

Family Tree Friday: Who were the Sea Fencibles in the War of 1812?

With all the hype ramping up for the approaching 150th anniversary of the Civil War next year, which is expected to continue over the next five years, I've heard a few concerns that another major milestone might be overshadowed--the bicentennial in 2012 of the beginning of the War of 1812!  Lest we forget about our … Continue reading Family Tree Friday: Who were the Sea Fencibles in the War of 1812?

World War II Escape and Evasion Reports are now available online

On December 12, 1942, 2nd Lt. Jack E. Williams and his crew were flying over the coast of France when, according to his report, “We hit the ground; that is, made a crash landing, at 12:40, after having been violently attacked by fighters.” The actions of Williams and his crewmates following the crash are documented … Continue reading World War II Escape and Evasion Reports are now available online

Hidden Treasures from within Navy Deck Logs

In anticipation of our upcoming 'What Are You Working On?' blog series, Rachel Sutcliffe, an Archives Technician in the Holdings Maintenance Division at NARA, shares her experiences and insights on some very interesting records. One of the best things about working with the National Archives' records as an employee is that you get to discover something … Continue reading Hidden Treasures from within Navy Deck Logs

Family Tree Friday: Vital Statistics in Military Records

In a previous blog post, my colleague Katherine talked about vital statistics that sometimes show up in federal records.  I thought it might be worthwhile to point out that, under specific circumstances, vital records were also intentionally created by the government, particularly the U.S. military.  In our vast collection of records relating to 19th-century military forts--all … Continue reading Family Tree Friday: Vital Statistics in Military Records

C and XC Pension Files for the Civil War

The following is a guest blog from Diane Dimkoff, director of the Customer Services Division. Most Union Army soldiers, their widows, or minor children applied for a pension. In rare cases, a dependent father or mother applied for a pension. The pension application file will often contain a statement of service prepared by the Adjutant … Continue reading C and XC Pension Files for the Civil War